Stephen Merchant has two movies out this weekend in which he plays a supporting character. In Logan, he plays a deformed mutant albino who can’t tolerate the sun. And he’s more creepy in Table 19, a mediocre dramatic comedy set at a wedding reception.
Eloise (Anna Kendrick) is the oldest friend of the bride, and until recently she was to be the maid of honor. She lost that honor around the same time she broke up with Teddy (Wyatt Russell), who was the bride’s sister and the best man. But she still received an invitation to the wedding, and after agonizing over it, she decided to attend. It’s no surprise that she ended up at table 19, in the back corner with all the other unwanted guests that were still invited for some reason. There’s Jo (June Squibb), the bride’s former nanny. There’s Mr. and Mrs. Kepp (Craig Robinson and Lisa Kudrow), who are casual acquaintances of the bride’s (or maybe the groom’s?) father. Walter (Merchant) is a cousin of the bride who stole a lot of money from her father. And Renzo (Tony Revolori) is a horny kid who is there too for some unexplained reason.
They’re a band of misfits, and hilarity is supposed to ensue. But it doesn’t. As a comedy, it’s an utter failure. There’s really only one decent gag in the movie (involving Lisa Kudrow’s attire), and they make sure to run that into the ground. Everything else is either obvious far in advance or falls flat, and most of the time it’s both. As a drama, it’s also pretty lackluster. I’m sure it’s going for some kind of crude John Hughes vibe, but it definitely doesn’t achieve anything like that. I’d had higher hopes for this Duplass-brothers-written film, but it’s very ho-hum at best.